The Guillotine – February 17, 2022

The February 17, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Building a Family Atmosphere - Travis Holt and Becker Wrestling | Finding Balance - Max McEnelly | Lace ‘Em Up | MWCA Report | High School Rankings | Where Have They Gone? - Dan Stifter | View From The Matbird Seat | Performance Nutrition - Good Choices | Ask The Doc | State Tournament Schedule | Officially Speaking.

View this issue below.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Building a Family Atmosphere

Travis Holt and Becker Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

Wrestling is such an individual sport. There are tons of wrestling tournaments – even if a team score is kept – the winner is based on how well each athlete does outside of a team setting. Team national championships at all levels of college competition are based solely on the individual. Each year at the Minnesota state wrestling tournament, the individual finals – not the team finals – draw the most people into the arena. New Becker Bulldogs' wrestling coach Travis Holt – working within that team concept - is trying to bring a team and family atmosphere to the program.

The importance of building the family or team atmosphere in the wrestling room was engrained in Holt's mind early in his wrestling career. Cambridge-Isanti wrestling coach Neil Jennissen and St. Cloud State wrestling coach Steve Costanzo ensured that.

"They instilled a team sport mentality," Holt said. "You can get so caught up in the individual aspect of wrestling – you can forget to build those teamwork skills and building a family-like atmosphere. Being part of a family was huge when wrestling at Cambridge and St. Cloud State. All the guys I was competing with were like my brothers. That is the same philosophy I try to instill in my wrestlers – we compete for one another – not just for ourselves. It makes wins feel more special because you can celebrate them with everyone else, but also, you know your teammates have your back in every situation."

Although supportive, Holt's family had very little to do with his start in the sport.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

The Sound of Silence

By Brian Jerzak

Sometimes silence is a terrible sound. During the 2020 Class AA state wrestling semifinals, the more than 12,000 parents, fans, athletes, coaches, referees, and staff members sat in complete silence. Mats were not reloaded as matches finished. The only sound was a referee's whistle as the surrounding matches were completed. Even before the mats cleared, all eyes focused – not on a match - but on a corner mat where there had been no wrestling for several minutes.

When the other matches completed, the only sound I could personally hear was the sound of a couple of grown men quietly sobbing behind me. We all sat in stunned silence - staring at the group of emergency responders working behind some makeshift walls held up by workers.

I have no idea how long the Xcel Energy Center remained silent. The cheer that went up when Becker's Brayden Weber gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was being rolled away by the paramedics was more powerful and heartfelt than any during the entire weekend.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Becker wrestler Brayden Weber doing well — and hopes to play football and wrestle again — after heart procedure

Brayden Weber sounded like a typical teenager on summer break when he answered the phone Sunday night.

“I was at the beach all day with my friends today,” he said.

Hard to believe only three days earlier he underwent a heart procedure at Mayo Clinic to fix a defect that caused Weber to collapse and lose consciousness after his semifinal match at the wrestling state championships at Xcel Energy Center in early March.

The rising senior and two-sport standout at Becker High School says he feels “totally normal.” Doctors cleared him to resume physical activity with no restrictions starting next Thursday. His family experienced a wave of relief knowing what caused that frightening moment when he collapsed while walking off the mat. Continue reading at

Becker High wrestler in good spirits after collapsing during state tournament

Laughter, love, and smiles fill Brayden Weber’s hospital room, shining brighter than his sixth-place wrestling medal.

“He had God on his side that day,” said Sara Waytashek, Brayden’s mother. “And so many people praying for him.”

Brayden is now recovering at Regions Hospital following a frightening ordeal. Just after he was pinned during a match Saturday at the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament, he suddenly collapsed.

“I kind of felt like something was off a little bit,” the 17-year-old recalled. “I don’t remember standing up or shaking hands, anything like that. I was walking over to my coaches, and I just hit the ground right in front of their feet.” View/continue reading at